Assisting 101

Each year thousands of young budding photographers graduate from their institution of choice across Canada. Set on a long and difficult path of ongoing learning and development. With this rite of passage comes more applications to assist than I know what to do with. I find that there is always a fall term surge in applications for students looking for a co-op and again around August right after diplomas have been received and OSAP gets ready to start harassing you for payments.Continue Reading

The Photography Student Answer To Soft Side-Light

If you want to learn how to light a portrait for a beauty or fashion shoot you can use the almighty school of Google and come up with over 10,000 results. Page after page of photographers explaining their expensive lighting equipment and where to go to buy it… Once you’ve maxed out your credit card getting their oddly specific set up you are ready to move on to your camera’s manual. Just a little light reading on deciphering histograms and flash syncing. Then, and only then, you are ready to hunt down the tab you had that set up saved on, reload it, and begin following instructions 2 through 200 with the use of a protractor and a measuring tape.

The best piece of advice my college professor ever gave me was use the sun as your main light. It’s cheap, for the most part readily available and always offers a new challenge and opportunity to experiment. Learn how the sun moves, go out and shoot at different times of day and practice. When you figure out techniques using the sun you will find the studio is the easiest set up. Why he gave me this advice after I graduated I’ll never know. It would have saved me a lot of cash and being on a first name basis with a rental shops unnerving associate. Nonetheless this is the advice I give to every students who assist me.Continue Reading

If you want to make god laugh, tell him about your life’s plans.

Once upon a time in a land far far away, I was arriving on set for what was to be a fashion campaign for Hazelton Lanes a.k.a Yorkville Village. I’s were dotted and T’s were crossed, everything was falling into place as planned. Little did I know that a sinister force called the weather was about to cast an evil spell on my production, and throw me one of the hardest curveballs I’ve ever been met with.Continue Reading

The Photographer’s “Typical Day”

Whenever anyone finds out that I am a fashion photographer I get a stereotypical list of responses. If it’s someone younger, it’s often ‘hey can I come to your set and watch?’ *internally screaming NO!* or ‘what’s it like being a photographer?’. If I’m meeting someone older, it’s usually ‘so you do weddings?’ *internally screaming a louder more exasperated NO!!*. Although these are common questions by far the most I hear is ‘so what is a typical day as a fashion photographer?’.

I know many people are taken aback when they find out my job is in the arts. Those who are used to 9-5 jobs are genuinely curious on how a day in the arts compares. There is also the rarer breed who are looking to do what I do, most of the time a younger student who wants to understand what kind of day is normal. I would like to explain for both types, because my ‘typical day’ often shocks both. I work hard. A lot harder than most people think. I am not saying this to brag or to over exaggerate, it’s the hard reality. A job in the arts is maintained by good business practices.

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Travel, see the world, it’s not such a scary place.

if you haven’t met me, you should probably know. I have a serious case of wanderlust. It is often how I find my creative drive. It has taken me to some very interesting places, and placed me in the middle of some unpredictable and sort of unbelievable circumstances.

When I was in Thailand, it brought me a story that has been met with the most skepticism. My friend got bit by a monkey.Continue Reading

White Cashmere Collection

So one of the most common questions I am asked when someone finds out I am a fashion photographer is what was your favorite photo shoot or what has stood out in your career? There have been many, I can’t say exactly what my favorite shoot was but there is a long list of shoots that have gained notoriety in my mind. The White Cashmere Collection of 2009 is one such shoot. It was particularly complex due to the nature of the materials we were working with, but I was fortunate enough to be collaborating with some of the most hard working and dedicated people in the Toronto fashion industry.

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“But I don’t want a blog” – Koby 2007

From the moment I created my website, I decided that I will keep my personal sharing to a minimum. I hardly posted on social media and refused to hop on the blogging bandwagon.

Yet, here we are, at my blog page.

Over the last few years my friends, clients, and mentees have repeatedly asked me to share more on social media. Which I have started to do; But I feel like it makes almost no difference. In between algorithms and trends your voice gets lost in a sea of a thousand perspectives, and millions of users. Share as you might, unless you somehow manage to go viral few, even those who keep an eye out, will ever see, hear, or read your work. If I’m going to spend my time doing something few will ever know about I’d rather it be useful for me.

So you must be wondering, with a cynical outlook on this whole blogging concept why on earth am I here?Continue Reading